Homes staying on the market longer but sales spike in November
New listings reach high for the month
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – During the warmer months of summer and fall, homes sold in less than three weeks on average, reaching as low as 17 days in August. That number rose to closer to four weeks in November, hitting 25 days. Although still 5 days lower than last year at this time, the spread was closer than any time since last summer.
“Buyers are still snapping up most of the homes that come to market,” said Kristy Gooch, president of the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors® (LBAR). “But they are taking a slightly longer time to make an offer while looking at more properties before committing. Having an increase in new listings hit the market helps buyers broaden their options before they make a purchasing decision.”
New listings scored a monthly high for the third consecutive month, with 1,229 properties coming online in November. This is compared to 1,170 last year, a 5% increase. For the year, new listings are up 6% with 17,634 new properties for sale versus 16,595 in 2020 (click for full report November 2021 Stats).
Due to the rise in listings, housing inventory matched the 1.6-month supply from the previous two months, which is up 7% from last year when the market was sitting at 1.5 months.
Total housing inventory, although still down 13% from last year, is closing the gap with 2,216 residential properties available in November, the fourth straight month of levels being above the 2,000 threshold. This is positive news locally as national reports for next year say increasing housing units will be a challenge due to higher prices for both materials and labor.
“Inventory levels still pose issues for many buyers,” stated Gooch. “We have more potential buyers in the market right now than we have homes available. This is reflected in the sales and pending numbers we are currently seeing. Almost every month this year hit record highs for transactions even as we continue to push through a pandemic.”
Housing sales in November surged 18% over last year with a new monthly high of 1,414 transactions compared to last year’s record of 1,195. For 2021, every month so far has seen a year-over-year gain in sales except July and nine out of the 11 months have recorded all-time highs.
Single-family home sales increased 17% while townhouse/condo sales jumped a staggering 43% for the month. Townhouses/condos made up around 7% of the total market in November.
Year-to-date, sales have jumped by 7%, reaching 14,876 homes sold compared to 13,886 last year. With only one month left in the year, 2021 will most certainly hit a new record for transactions.
New construction home sales rose 3% for the month, reaching the second highest total of the year with 119 sales. This is the second consecutive month that new construction sales have risen year-over-year and only the fourth time with sales exceeding last year’s monthly total.
Pending sales have remained strong in the fourth quarter of the year with 1,282 sales under contract, compared to 1,128 last year, an increase of 14%. November marked the fourth month in a row with pending sales increases and has now passed last year’s record total through the first eleven months of the year.
“Demand for housing in this area continues to climb,” says Gooch. “That has pushed rents to rise in most areas of the region. And when that happens, home ownership becomes more attractive. Sidelined buyers generally want to move before rates increase, and experts have predicted that will be the case this upcoming year.”
Median prices reached $228,000 in November, a new high for the month and the fifth highest on record. The median price was 14% than last year when the median was $200,000. Single-family home prices increased 15% to $230,000 while townhouse/condo prices rose 9%, reaching $190,000. In the 10 most active counties for transactions in the LBAR region, all saw price increases versus 2020 with eight of those up double digits for the month.
For the year, overall residential prices were up 13%, hitting $223,000 compared to $198,000 for 2020. Of the top 10 most active counties, all but one have seen double digit price growth year-to-date.
Gooch stated, “As a way to get ahead of the interest rate hikes on the horizon, potential buyers are getting out in the market. Data showed a flurry of traffic to homes in November with appointments to view properties rising for the third straight month and up 17% year-over-year.”
LBAR represents more than 3,500 Realtors® located in 26 counties: Anderson, Bath, Bell, Bourbon, Clark, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Harrison, Jackson, Jessamine, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Madison, Menifee, Montgomery, Nicholas, Owsley, Powell, Rowan, Scott, Whitley and Woodford counties.